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Monrovia Reaches Settlement With Food Truck Vendors

Monrovia and the SoCal Mobile Food Vendors Association have reached a preliminary settlement in a lawsuit alleging the city unfairly banned food trucks from Old Town, according to a court clerk.

An association of food truck vendors has reached a preliminary settlement with the city of Monrovia in a lawsuit that alleged that a city ordinance banning mobile food vendors from Old Town was illegal.

Attorneys informed Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Michelle Rosenblatt that they had reached a settlement and are drafting the paperwork to finalize it, court clerk Jeff Lipp told Patch Wednesday.

Jeffrey Dermer, an attorney for the Socal Mobile Food Vendors Association (SoCalMFVA), confirmed that a settlement was in the works but declined to comment on the terms.

"The case has been resolved," Dermer said. "I can't comment on the terms of the settlement at this time."

Monrovia City Attorney Craig Steele also declined to comment on the settlement.

"I don't have any comment on that," Steele said. "We haven't finalized anything."

SoCalMFVA sued Monrovia after the City Council passed an ordinance in 2010 that barred food trucks from operating in Old Town and other parts of the city. The group at the expense of mobile vendors.

SoCalMFVA's lawsuit sought to have the city's ordinance repealed. It is unclear if the city has agreed to repeal the ordinance as part of the proposed settlement.

After the ordinance passed in December of 2010, Councilman Tom Adams that it would be unfair to allow food trucks to operate in Old Town because they wouldn't have to pay taxes and fees to the Old Town Advisory Board merchants association.

"This is just trying to keep a certain ambiance in downtown and also recognize the contribution that brick and mortar businesses make that mobile food vendors don't make," Adams said of the ordinance. "To have someone say that they want to come and take advantage of that without contributing to it just doesn't pass the simple test of fairness," he said.

Dermer said in an online that Adams' comments showed the city was giving brick and mortar businesses special treatment.

"Perfect, they're admitting that its a competitive ordinance, which is illegal," he told Reason.

Ed August 16, 2012 at 05:01 AM
Same arguement could be made that the food trucks pay DMV fees that the brick & mortars don't. LET THE CONSUMER DECIDE.. envisioning a lobster roll from the Lobsta truck & Pinkberry for dessert.
Dan Crandell August 16, 2012 at 05:15 AM
What decision? What settlement? Maybe yes ,,, Maybe no. Dermer says "The case has been resolved" ... Steele says "We haven't finalized anything" Lawyer double speak? Maybe ... Maybe not ... Does anybody really care?
Jerry Baker August 16, 2012 at 05:27 AM
I don't think when people say "free" enterprise, they mean free to take advantage of all the amenities and infrastructure provided by a community without having to pay a cent towards the upkeep of the community that makes their business possible in the first place. I know it's been all the rage for the last few decades to have the taxpayers foot the bill for business expenses, but you've got to put your foot down somewhere.
Jerry Baker August 16, 2012 at 05:27 AM
Hmmm, I wonder how much money Monrovia gets from registration fees. :/
Dan Crandell August 27, 2012 at 07:17 PM
Jerry the answer to your question is simple to get ... just ask city hall.

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